Phil Mickelson loses $5K bet to 17-year-old Aussie

Phil Mickelson loses $5K bet to 17-year-old Aussie

Phil Mickelson loves to take money from his fellow pros in practice-round money games, but is it a fair fight when the opponent is a 17-year-old from Australia?

According to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald that was an excerpt on, it was actually the teenager who got the better of the five-time major winner -- to the tune of $5,000.

Aussie Ryan Ruffels had been debating joining the professional ranks or going to college in the U.S. And Mickelson, who had previously been an assistant coach to his brother, Tim, at Arizona State, had in the past tried to convince the Aussie to play for the Sun Devils.

On Saturday afternoon, Ruffels' took to Instagram to say the story was "inaccurate," and went into the comments section of a Golf Channel posting to say the amount of the wager has been "exaggerated."

Ruffels' comment read:

"Everyone, this is very inaccurate. There are no NCAA violations involved. At the time of the round I was already a professional, and had made it clear my intentions to not attend ASU or any college in Australia or the USA. The wager amount has also been exaggerated out of proportion. I value the relationship I have with Phil and his brother Tim and it's one that I hope to have for many years. To have so many damaging inaccuracies in this is truly disappointing"

Ruffels, who turned pro recently, recalled the encounter to the Australian newspaper.

"We get on the first tee, it's pretty early in the morning and [Mickelson] says, 'I don't wake up this early to play for any less than $2,500,' " Ruffels said.

Mickelson said he would pay double if he lost.

"I was a few down through nine but then I birdied six of my last seven to win by one shot and took his money, so that was pretty cool," Ruffels said.


Kevin McGuire

ESPN - Golf

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